Being part of that group? Under the circumstances, Goydos found that highly unusual.
Goydos arrived at Spyglass Hill and headed to the putting green, only to realize he wasn't wearing golf shoes. He had left those back in his car in the main parking lot at Pebble Beach. Then, he had to tackle a course where he had never broken 70.
More than five hours and seven birdies later, he had a 7-under 65 and was part of an eclectic mix of atop the leaderboard on a day when the threat of showers gave way to sunshine along the Monterey Peninsula.
Defending champion Dustin Johnson was the biggest presence, even after a 2-under 68 at Monterey Peninsula in which he kept hitting it close for birdie and tapping in for par.
Also at 10-under 132 were Alex Cejka (67 at Spyglass), Bryce Molder (65 at Monterey), J.B. Holmes (67 at Monterey) and Matt Jones, who had a 67 at Pebble Beach and was the only player among the leaders who has not played the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula, the newcomer to the rotation and the only course playing as a par 70 this week.
All three courses had one thing in common.
"There is no defense on any of these golf courses," Goydos said, noting that while the rain has stayed away, so has the wind that can make some of these seaside venues so tough.
Equally surprising, to most everyone but him, is that David Duval was one shot out of the lead. The former No. 1 player in the world was at No. 882 last summer when he tied for second in the U.S. Open, although he hasn't done much since.
After a 67 at Spyglass, Duval shot a 68 at Pebble Beach to stay in the hunt.
"I'm hitting the ball pretty good. Had to shake a few putts in on these greens," he said. "Kind of the recipe you need to have out here."
Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin last week appointed Goydos one of his four assistant captains. He's not sure why Pavin selected him, except to make observations, but Goydos overlooked one big thing Friday morning.
He was wearing the wrong shoes.
"They're both black," he said. "I was putting and I'm like,
'They look shinier that they normally do.'" He caught a shuttle back to the parking lot, returned to hit a few balls then put together the kind of round he had never experienced at the toughest of the three courses.